Article: Expanding Ardor: Exploring Possibilities, Creating Experiences

By now most of you know that I love Ardor. It’s my favourite adult card game to date and you can find out five reasons as to why here.

Another big thing that I adore about Ardor is just how easy it is to customize your experiences with the game. What you and your partner bring to the table really does influence how the game goes, often in deeply profound ways. Different desires on different days create different experiences but typically lead to the same outcome: a happy afterglow and a stronger sense of communication, which benefits all aspects of a relationship.

Ardor is a game of endless possibilities, inviting you to unashamedly explore your deepest desires.
Ardor is a game of endless possibilities, inviting you to unashamedly explore your deepest desires.

Because I love this game so much and because customisation is such a key (but often underutilized) aspect of the game I’m going to share some of my musings on the topic today. Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll brimming with potential play ideas and ready to use them in your own game of Ardor.

Customizable To Its Very Core

Ardor’s customisation is facilitated by mechanics embedded within the core gameplay. The biggest of these mechanics is the enhancement slot. On any given Truth or Dare or Foreplay card an enhancement slot may be present. Depending on what the slot says a player then has the opportunity to bring an accessory into play to complement the card. ‘Toy’ is an obvious favourite of mine but ‘Lick’ and ‘Accessory’ are both have a lot of fun potential. Combined these cards allow players endless ways to make Ardor work for them or to introduce new objects and ideas in to the bedroom.

Placing Out the Possibilities

For Mr. Peaches and I Ardor doesn’t start at the point when we take up cards. Instead it begins at the point where we lay out our enhancement options.

Sex toys, paddles, massage candles, flavoured massage oils and more. The act of picking out items serves as a tantalizing back-and-fourth of our intentions, with the resulting array of products serving as a carefully curated display of what lies ahead. By doing this we’re literally placing all of our sexual cards on the table (as well as the actual cards themselves). As you can imagine, the magnetism in this stage of Ardor is almost irresistible.

Whether or not all of these items will be used in one session is sometimes irrelevant; simply letting your desires be known is sometimes the most important step towards sexual liberation and increased intimacy. Because of this I strongly encourage all Ardor players to relish this aspect of the gameplay, as it serves as much more than simply a primer for the main game.

Daring to Explore

So what happens after you have all of your items ready to go and the ‘Live Your Fantasy’ round begins? Well, this is where the options you’ve laid out for each other transform into experiences you forge together. My biggest advice at this stage of gameplay is to be bold and be creative. Don’t be afraid to utilize your enhancement cards or throw in a curve ball every now and then. Ardor is, after all, a game about exploration. Daring to not just declare, but actually enact your desires is key to learning more about yourself and your partner.

When the opportunity arises use your Enhancement slots to the fullest.
When the opportunity arises use your Enhancement slots to the fullest.

There are also some cards in Ardor that are just begging for an Enhancement card. For example ‘Masturbate in front of your lover. No orgasm’ can so easily be modified with the addition of a ‘Toy’ Enhancement card. The outcome will be wildly different depending on what toy is used and how the card’s target decides to play with their new enhancement. Alternatively you could add the ‘Accessory’ of your favourite lingerie to make the display even more enticing, or invite your partner to sample your body with the ‘Lick’ card. Needless to say Enhancement Cards are a valuable aspect of Ardor’s gameplay and they should definitely be utilized to their fullest extent.

Inspiration from Customisation

A bit more defined but no less individually-driven are the Ardor cards. These allow players to execute set rules or scenarios during certain parts of the ‘Live Your Fantasy’ round. For example ‘Let’s set the stage for tonight’ allows the card’s player to decide the place that an event occurs and anything within the environment. I think the potential for customisation with this card is pretty self-apparent (as is its position as a very firm curve ball that could totally transform gameplay).

Other cards allow things such as recording each other or gaining extra time on an activity, with each card creating their own unique scenarios. There is also one that asks one’s lover to provide sincere feedback after an experience, which I think is a truly touching tool for communication.

All of these cards facilitate personalisation and allow users to get the most out of Ardor in a very personal manner. In short, never underestimate the potency of a well-placed Ardor card.

Embracing the Unknown

One of the final elements of Ardor that prompts a unique experience are the Blank cards which are present at each point of the ‘Live Your Fantasy’ round. These cards throw all of the rules out of the window and allow players to fully explore their desires. They are also fantastic if your favourite sex position is lacking from the pre-provided selection or if you have something very specific in mind.

Blank cards can force your hand a bit in terms of creativity and thinking on your feet but that’s the point! At the end of the day Ardor isn’t a game for you; it’s your game and it can be whatever you make of it.

A Blank card is an invitation to explore.
A Blank card is an invitation to explore.

Never fear a Blank card. They provide you with the ultimate power in terms of customisation and, as this article shows, that’s a big aspect of what Ardor is all about: Unlimited exploration, enhanced communication.

It’s Your Game

As one last note I really do want to stress that Ardor is your game. No one else’s. Yours. Because of this if there’s a card you don’t want to use then feel free to discard it or consider it as a substitute for one you do like. If you don’t want to use the drink cards then get rid of them (we do). If a card doesn’t have an Enhancement but you really want it to then go ahead.

As a grizzled pirate once wisely said ‘The rules are more like guidelines’ and, at the end of the day, you know what works best for you.

So, with all that in mind, go nuts! Lay out your arsenal of exploration, utilize it with wanton abandon and plunge head first into the unknown. Do so together and Ardor will always create new memories and inspire a steamy rematch.

And that’s all for now folks! A big thank you to Ardor for sponsoring this post. I always love a chance to gush about my favourite adult card game. If you don’t have Ardor yet then please do consider giving it a purchase. I think I’ve argued strongly as to why it makes for an awesome experience. And if you want Ardor but don’t have the money for it…well, watch this space.

Until the next review!